Piercing and procession - The Vegetarian Festival 2012

The Festival is also an opportunity for worship 
The day started very early for me in Kathu Shrine, the atmosphere was on a knife edge (sic).  The piercing was just starting for some...

...and it was very clear that some people had been pierced previously.

There is something more to this ritual than is discussed – is it a cultural / status ‘thing’ for youths to do?

A chanting song permeated Katu Shrine, people were milling around all with a job to do, piercing and more – a wonderful atmosphere.

Then the head man arrived and distributed blessed cloths to people (which some put in their mouths) and selected the shrine to take him through the village – he was hoisted up and the parade began.

The winding road through Kathu was lined with people waiting for the shrine to give pass that would give them the reason to throw their firecrackers OR to receive a blessing from the Ma Songs.

There was a very small shrine on the way to Central - Chid Cheow Shrine where the pierced took a break.

The pierced parade took us into Phuket Town passing more people tossing crackers or local people waiting to be blessed by the Ma Songs.  

The sun rose over the mountains and some of the clothes reflected the light beautifully…

As we entered into Phuket Town with a very happy group - one even rolling a red candle into the crowds and screaming "firework".

I took the opportunity for a coffee break at Kopi coffee and sat behind the blessing table.

The pierced and the possessed carried onto Sapan Hin and turned round and came back!!!!